We are a dynamic and visionary organization committed to improving people’s lives in our community through the transforming power of chemistry. We strive to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren counties.
Though wintry temperatures came rolling in to Kalamazoo, MI, on Saturday, October 13, 2018, 60 volunteers* (15 of them KACS members) - many for 4 hours and others in 2-hour shifts – gathered at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum (KVM) from noon to 4 pm to present 20 activities on two floors and the large theater to 600 patrons. Visitors included extended families, scout leaders, practicing teachers, with many repeat visitors and several who had come as children themselves to one or more of our previous 31 events. An additional attraction during the four-hour afternoon offerings this year was the inclusion by our generous host, the KVM, of 3 free planetarium shows at regular intervals. Volunteers, who were solicited widely from area companies, colleges/university, high schools and other area science-teaching centers, were informed of our emphasis on safety both in terms of our own participation and our interactions with the attendees as they did the activities. Many education-related materials from ACS and other sources were gladly received by our visitors who expressed enthusiasm about the variety of available stations through the afternoon, as well as about learning of the availability of ACS' large assortment of age-appropriate resoures; there seemed to be greater-than-average interest expressed in subsequent use of these resources to continue science learning after the program.
* Volunteers were employees from Pfizer, Perrigo and Kalsec; WMU - faculty, retired staff and students; faculty and students from KVCC; and K College students; some HS chem students (Loy Norrix, Mattawan, Portage Northern) and others from the community (e.g., Air Zoo, KVM volunteers). An e-mail of appreciation was sent to the Museum leadership, and to each volunteer whose e-address was available.
Among the large number of offerings presented to children and their families at the Lake Center Elementary (Portage) STEAM night for the third successive year, favorites were hands-on activities by our KACS Western Michigan University Chem club students and several of our members. There was an attendance of ~600 engaged children during the 3-hour event.
Copies of Celebrating Chemistry were distributed to organizations in
our Local Section area which provide science outreach to our
communities: copies in Spanish were donated to our Kalamazoo
Public Library for their Hispanic Heritage Month
celebration; copies in both English and Spanish were given to the
Air Zoo (which also was a host site for one of our
We still need a lot of helping hands from our members for this much anticipated event!
We would love to hear that you are interested in volunteering; if you are not sure what you might want to present we have a list of activity suggestions from prior years, or you may want to work alongside someone else as a "helper" at a table. Please join the few who have responded to date and contact our NCW coordinator Lydia Hines - advanced planning makes the event more pleasurable.